March 30, 2022
Ombudsman backs Erebus occupation grievance
The leader of an occupation preventing construction of a memorial to the Erebus crash, Rangimarie Dame Naida Glavish, says now the Chief Ombudsman has reported she can deliver a 24,000 signature petition to Parliament.
Judge Peter Boshier found the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga acted unreasonably by not consulting more widely before it formed a preference to site the memorial at Parnell’s Dove-Myer Robinson Park.
Dame Naida, who started the occupation because of concern about the effect of the construction on the site’s historic pōhutukawa tree, Te Hā, says Auckland Council also needs to shoulder some of the blame for not making the consent application notifiable.
“That’s the largest urban pohutukawa. It’s not the largest pohutukawa tree of course, that is in Te Araroa, and there is another one up in Te Rerenga Wairua, but this is the largest here. It’s a national memorial. Shouldn’t it be nationally notified? Surely to goodness, given that Parnell has nothing to do with Erebus,” she says.
The Air New Zealand scenic flight TE 901 crashed into Mount Erebus in Antarctica in November 1979, killing 237 passengers and 20 crew.